3.89 (40,108 ratings by Goodreads)
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IN THE ENCLAVE, YOUR SCARS SET YOU APART, and the newly born will change the future. Sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone and her mother faithfully deliver their quota of three infants every month. But when Gaia's mother is brutally taken away by the very people she serves, Gaia must question whether the Enclave deserves such loyalty. A stunning adventure brought to life by a memorable heroine, this dystopian debut will have readers racing all the way to the dramatic more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 362 pages
  • 147.32 x 210.82 x 38.1mm | 476.27g
  • Roaring Brook Press
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • maps
  • 1596435690
  • 9781596435698
  • 224,164

Review quote

Readers who enjoy adventures with a strong heroine standing up to authority against the odds will enjoy this compelling tale. "School Library Journal" A wonderful addition to the dystopian genre. "" Reminiscent of both "1984" and a "Brave New World," this gripping page-turner is a perfect intro to futuristic, dystopian fiction . . . Readers accompany the novel's inspiring heroine on an undertaking brimming with danger, intrigue, and romance. "" O'Brien's . . . impulsive and spirited heroine . . . is the kind readers adore. "Booklist" This science fiction adventure is a brisk and sometimes provocative read, thanks to solid pacing, a resourceful heroine, and a few surprise twists. "Publishers Weekly" Well-written and fast-paced. "VOYA" In grand dystopic tradition. "Kirkus Reviews" It was a very good book that made me think. "Abby, age 12" I love dystopian futures. Birthmarked is great dystopian future. "Sam, age 16""show more

About Caragh M O'Brien

Since earning an MA in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, Caragh M. O'Brien has been a high school teacher, an author of romance novels, and now a novelist for teens. Her novels Birthmarked and Prized were named YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults. Birthmarked was also a Junior Library Guild Selection and chosen for the ALA 2011 Amelia Bloomer List. She lives with her family and writes from her home in more

Rating details

40,108 ratings
3.89 out of 5 stars
5 32% (12,716)
4 37% (14,894)
3 22% (9,014)
2 6% (2,510)
1 2% (974)

Our customer reviews

Gaia (Guy-ya) Stone is following in her mother's footsteps. She has been training to be a midwife for years and is ready to accept her role in the community. For as long as she can remember, life on the outside of the wall has been this way. The first three babies of the month are advanced to the Enclave to be adopted and live their life inside the wall. While the pain of losing a child is great, the mothers know that their baby will be living in a community with conveniences not available to the people living in Wharfton, like electricity and running water. Gaia doesn't know what to do when her parents are arrested and taken by the Guard of the Protectorat. She finds it hard to believe that her parents know anything the Enclave would want to know, but by the questions they ask her when she comes home to find them gone, they think her parents have important information. Gaia is completely in the dark. The only thing she has to go on is the long piece of ribbon with a strange code sewn in it that her mother's assistant gave her and told her to keep secret at all cost. Gaia's life becomes a complicated game of cat and mouse as she attempts to get inside the wall, find her parents, and solve the mystery of the coded ribbon. Caragh M. O'Brien has written a wonderful addition to the dystopian genre. Readers get a glimpse of life in the 2400's after a drastic weather change has dramatically reduced the human population. Even though the world is completely different than the one we live in, the problems Gaia encounters are very similar - she enjoys time with her family, likes socializing with friends, and is insecure when it comes to love. BIRTHMARKED is fantastic. I loved it and stayed up much too late because I couldn't put it down. It definitely deserves the Gold Star Award. The author leaves the ending open for a sequel, and I for one can't wait to see what happens next. *Gold Star Award Winner!show more
by TeensReadToo
Gaia is a midwife, apprentice to her mother. But her job is not just to deliver the babies: it's to take the first three of the month to the city within the wall away from their families, to "Advance" them and let them join the government there. Gaia has never questioned the government-until she has to advance a baby herself, until her innocent parents are taken away, until she sees the injustice that happens behind the wall... Gaia's only wish is to get her parents back, safely outside the wall, and then flee to the Dead Forest-which may or may not exist-but when she finally gets in, a series of events makes her question what is really right, who she loves, and what she lives for. When I first started Birthmarked, I had a hard time getting through the first chapter. The thought of these people taking the newborn babies away from their parents to live in the richer society but away from the ones who loved them made me sick to my stomach, and I almost put it down completely. It also struck me as familiar, and I realized later that it was the whole concept of taking the children away. It reminded me of The Hunger Games, and I didn't want a lousy play-off. But I couldn't stop reading, because it was just so good. Good thing I didn't stop. The plot had me guessing every step of the way. It was completely unpredictable and I'm still reeling from it. The writing was beautiful and descriptive, so visual that I could see everything exactly. It almost had a rhythmic feel to it. The characters were wonderful. Gaia is a strong willed girl, willing to do anything for the people she loves. The other characters are quickly defined and unique. Gaia's father is a sweet wonderful man, and her mother was strong and beautiful like Gaia herself. One of the things I love about this book is the realness behind everything-the dialogue, the feelings, even the romance. Especially the romance. I hate it when the main characters get crushes for each other within the first paragraph of the book. In Birthmarked, I didn't see it coming until maybe halfway through the book (and that was only because the character just kept reappearing). I love that! The ending, though, left me hanging a little. It wasn't as horrible as The Hunger Games endings have been (hurry up, Suzanne!) but it did leave me saying "but... but... but....awww dang...." I shall be sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for the sequel. And there better be a sequel. Content: Clean of sex, language, and violence. Recommendation: Ages 12+ Adults will love it, too!show more
by Haley
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